There is no denying that the eSports market has expanded drastically over the last few years and it has become a popular pastime to watch pro players battle it out in their favorite games. These Twitch chart toppers include Counter Strike: GO, Dota 2, League of Legends and Overwatch, though the number one issue still remains the viewership numbers. If we compare these figures to those of mainstream sports, they are merely a blip on the radar. So, what does the future of eSports betting have in store tfor the gaming industry?
The Ever Growing Fan Base
It comes as no surprise that eSports don’t draw in the same viewer numbers as major sporting events – while millions tune in for major football events, the numbers around eSports events are much lower. However, this doesn’t mean that the world of eSports is not going anywhere, quite the contrary, there has been a year on year increase in the number of people who are watching eSports at events and at home. According to Newzoo, there are an estimated 148 million eSports fans and enthusiasts around the world. This number will increase over the next few years as more and more millennials are watching eSports on a regular basis. Newzoo have estimated that almost 22% of males under the age of 35 in the United States watch some form of eSports. This puts it almost on par with ice hockey and baseball, though this is for all eSports combined.
Revenue Growth and The Media
The industry saw massive revenue growth last year and this is estimated to be doubled to over $1 billion by 2019. These are promising figures for something that was until recently only viewed as a hobby by our parents’ and grandparents’ generations. The younger fan base means that platforms such as Twitch, Smashcast (formerly Hitbox), YouTube Gaming and Mirrativ have become ever more popular as the so called Y Generation moves away from mainstream media such as television. However, this has not stopped cable television stations from trying to swoop in on the action.
eSports is a loose term for any form of professional gaming and includes a large selection of gaming titles that feature great competitive play. The competitive play aspect is the greatest draw cards for these games and is one of the main reasons why so many of these great titles have gained large followings in recent years. Another reason for these games’ popularity is the fact that many of them will run on lower end computers and this makes them very popular among gamers with even the most basic budget gaming PCs.
If we look at the figures from January to June 2017, there are three main contenders in the eSports world. Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and League of Legends dominate the top three spots of the top 10 list of Twitch views. League of Legends has a staggering 26.1 million viewed eSports hours on Twitch in June and Dota 2 came in second with 23.5 million viewed eSports hours. Trailing behind them in third place was CS: GO with 10.2 million viewed eSports hours. While these figures will fluctuate from month to month, it is clear that they are go-to games for eSports and betting.
The Current Betting Scene
It will come as no surprise that there are already a number of betting sites on the internet that are dedicated to the world of eSports. Typing in “eSports betting” into your given search engine will bring up a substantial volume of search results related to this very topic. The real question is, how many of these are sites of substance and how many of them are merely fighting for their place among the best betting sites at the moment? One thing is clear, and that is that the top 3 Twitch contenders are also among the most popular games to place your bets on. Much like any sport, there are odds and an in-depth knowledge of the various teams and players will mean the difference between making a profit with a firmly placed bet, or blowing your bank on a badly thought out bet. Generally, enthusiasts and fans are more willing to bet on the outcome of a game due to their in-depth knowledge of the games and teams, however, there is still the issue that a good portion of these fans are under the age of 18. This means they are not legally allowed to bet on the outcomes of any league matches, so despite their knowledge, they still remain a market that cannot be tapped.
The Future Betting Scene
The forecast for the world of eSports is very bright and this is great news for those who have their finger on the pulse of this market when it comes to betting. With revenue on the rise and set to double in the next 2 years, it makes sense to get into the game now while it is relatively small. We use the term relatively small very loosely due to the fact that it is already a large market. Nonetheless, it is set to grow and has the potential to expand exponentially due to the fact that more and more people between the ages of 16-49 are enjoying the world of eSports. The current fans who cannot legally bet on any games will soon find themselves coming of age and will become part of the ever growing pool of fans and enthusiasts that are willing to place their money on the table for their favorite teams and games. The top games are also unlikely to change in the near future and it will more than likely be follow up games of the current top 10 that will take their place.
Wrapping It Up
The world of eSports has definitely grown and will keep growing for some time to come. The fact that many of the Y Generations or Millennials as we like to call them are more focused on video games than traditional sports speaks volumes for the potential of this market. The current generation of fans will soon join a class of gamers who will legally be able to place bets on their favorite teams and titles, making for a very optimistic forecast for those currently running or looking at starting a dedicated eSports betting website.